“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
As we remember the legend, Toni Morrison, let us look at a few of her brilliant work and her contribution in literature which shall remain timeless and will always continue to inspire. Toni Morrison passed away on August 5, 2019, at the age of 88. She is the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.
The Bluest Eyes
This debut novel follows a young Black girl named Pecola growing up in Lorain, Ohio—Morrison’s hometown—in the years following the Great Depression. Pecola is consistently teased about her dark skin, hair, and eyes, causing her to long for the white features she perceives to be more beautiful. (Blonde hair, light eyes, fair skin). But as the young girl prays for the miracle of blue eyes, her personal life takes a heartbreaking turn.
Beloved by Toni Morrison is one of her most popular and well-loved books which even won The American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
It is a story of Sethe, a former slave who escaped to Ohio in the 1870s. But despite her freedom, she finds herself haunted by the trauma of her past.
This was the first novel Morrison released after winning the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. Being her third book in a trilogy, the book focuses on the love of God and deals with various kinds of love. The book ends with several of the women visiting their homes and families though they are obviously apparitions.
Sula takes you through the lives and diverging paths of two best friends: Nel and Sula. One decides to stay in their hometown and raise a family, while the other leaves home for college, enjoying the city life. They soon reunite, coming to terms with their differences and the consequences of their own life choices.
Song of Solomon
One of Morrison’s most celebrated works—a blend of realism, fable, and fantasy—Song of Solomon earned the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1978 and is an Oprah’s Book Club pick from 1996. It follows the life of Macon Dead, Jr. (a.k.a. Milkman) and the many mysteries plus unforgettable characters that surround him. “Few Americans know, and can say, more than she has in this wise and spacious novel,” the New York Times’s Reynolds Price said of Morrison in a 1977 review.
Toni Morrison was one of the greatest living literary voices of our time. In every single work published, Morrison made a point to reveal the complexities of Black lives and of womanhood, whether captured through poetic period pieces, passionate love stories, or shocking dramas. If you are a nerd and have not yet discovered her work, you are under a stone! Pick a title and bless your nerdy head.
The Images are taken from Google and Wikipedia.